Turns out I DO have a crafty bone in my body

I’m sure it’s just one crafty bone and it’s not a major bone, like a femur, but it must be in there somewhere because I made this…

What’s that, you ask? Why it’s just a very pretty (and also practical) home-made advent calendar inspired by a few projects that I pinned a while ago.

For the last few years, we’ve purchased the lego advent calendar which a. costs money and b. doesn’t change much from year to year. I also find it difficult to make the connection between Darth Maul and Christmas, even if he is wearing a Santa hat. (and, by the way, that’s one very scary Santa coming down the chimney).

This year I wanted to make the advent calendar more about experiences than toys so, after looking at some very poorly constructed, yet costly, empty calendars at Target, I decided to make my own.

My list of supplies:

  • Wooden clothes pegs (or clothes pins for the Americans – I still can’t get used to calling them that)
  • Decorative tape
  • Mini envelopes
  • Glitter chipboard number stickers
  • Glitter cardstock – trimmed to fit inside the envelopes

Directions – warning, a monkey could do it.

  • Stick tape on front and back of clothes pegs. I mixed up the patterns and colors for interest. The tape was a little too wide so I trimmed it on the sides to fit.
  • Stick numbers 1 to 24 on envelopes
  • Make a calendar of activities for the month (this was the trickiest bit)
  • Write activities for each day on the white side of a piece of card and put it in the envelope
  • Peg envelopes to a piece of string.

See? I told you it was tricky.

As I mentioned, laying out the calendar was the hardest part. I tried to time activities so  that they aligned with our schedule – quick activities on weeknights, bigger family activities on weekends.

I also included a few days where the boys have to search for a small gift. We recently purchased a treasure hunt game called Ukloo which has a bunch of clue cards that you can place around the house (eg. look under your Dad’s pillow, look in the sink). The kids LOVE it so I used the clues to lead them to their first present (an ant farm).

Other activities in the calendar include:

  • Buy and decorate the Christmas Tree (this was day 1)
  • Go to Zoolights
  • Drink Hot Cocoa while listening to Christmas Music
  • Walk around the neighborhood to look at the lights
  • Watch a Christmas movie with popcorn
  • Choose a toy from the store to donate to the toy drive
  • Read two Christmas books
  • Roast marshmallows in the fireplace
  • Make gingerbread men
  • Make paper snowflakes
  • Put food out for Santa (Christmas eve)
  • See Peter Pan at the children’s theater (I purchased tickets a couple of months ago and decided to include it as an activity rather than add something else)

I also included two Kid’s choice cards. I’m curious to find out what they’ll want to do – it’s a little risky.

So far the kids love it. They haven’t mentioned the lego advent calendar at all and seem to love that we have special family activities to look forward to each day, even if it’s just reading a couple of christmas books. I’ve been traveling this week so, sadly, I missed the gift hunt and drinking hot cocoa but I hear they were both a huge hit.

The best part? The calendar is durable enough that I can pack it up with our decorations and use it again next year. I suppose I’ll have to find something else to make with my newly discovered crafty bone.

P.S. Please don’t judge the ugly fireplace. It’s one of the things on our very, very long list of home improvement projects.

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